Chrisna Abi: Owning a Life Designed
Submitted by Chrisna Abi
December 2014 marked the day of my first, and so far only, tandem skydive. I was anxious and did not exactly know what I was getting myself into. However, I needed to make the decision, commit to the process, be willing to be equipped with the right gear, persevere the ascent, and finally, let go. The feeling of falling free was something I had not experienced before and cannot explain. The freedom was indescribable. To me, this was a revelation of my life’s journey and a reminder of a step I took earlier that year.
In February 2014, I embarked on a journey into the unknown. I made a decision, but I was uncertain about the details of the place I was going to, the people I would meet, the journey that would turn out different than what I had planned, the challenges I would face, and the victories I would celebrate. As a South African design student, I was on my way to Australia for a postgraduate course, and I ended up completing the goal with a research paper and design project in June 2015. Nonetheless, what followed was not part of my plans. The logical next step was to return home. However, I had absolutely no peace to book a flight ticket, so I prayed about my decision and intentions, and knew that it was not yet time. Instead I started applying for jobs, another logical next step, but all roads led to dead ends. After much frustration, confusion, and praying for answers, I laid everything aside and sought God. It wasn’t long before I realized I had lost perspective and sought answers outside of my Savior. Things did not suddenly fall into place, but I gained peace and perspective and could focus on God instead of on my own attempted plans. After a few days, Bible College was mentioned in conversation a few times, and the idea lingered in my mind. Never before had I considered this full-time, but now I became excited about the possibility. After praying about it, talking to my pastor, and eventually the college’s dean, I applied for a one-year diploma and a renewed visa for the following year.
Being a student for yet another year, 2016 became a year of deep personal and spiritual development along with rich biblical teaching. I had the honor of learning from teachers who were passionate about the Word of God and equipping people to share the gospel and grow in godliness. In addition, one of my second semester subjects required, yet again, a research paper of a few thousand words. Through this project, I had the honor of learning from the wisdom and guidance of my supervisor. That year ended up presenting me with another decision, lessons to be learned, and unexpected changes. I realized that it was one thing to know God has a purpose for your life and that your identity is found in Him, but it is so vital to believe it and take ownership of it. Until I learned to take ownership of my choices and of who I was made to be, I stayed in limbo between where I was and where I wanted to go. I was living in the past and in the future, not embracing the present. I doubted myself, became frustrated with my situation, and felt guilty, confused, and overwhelmed. I was stubborn; I kept looking to my own plans, failing to both see what God was currently doing in my life and trust Him for what laid ahead of me. While I was focused on the main objective of my studies, I was also being equipped through my writing. I had no clue writing would be used more than the design knowledge I gain in school. I love discovered how much I enjoy journaling about what I learn, my experiences, and sharing and encouraging others.
When I returned home and my new season began in February 2017, I continued to write. During this time I waited on the Lord. Through commitment and obedience, it suddenly all came together: the title and vision for the cover that had been on my heart for a few years, and the content of my journal, not having realized during the process that it would eventually become a book. I can now share in thankfulness that “A Life Designed” has been published and will soon be available as an e-book and in bookstores worldwide. This journey has been an adventure in which I have discovered many treasures in pursuit of my First Love, Jesus Christ, the love of God and my life designed by Him.